Comment Moderation and Spam Stats

CanOSpamDue to the massive volume of spam and what is getting through Akismet I have resorted to turning on comment moderation. From now on if you have had a previous comment on the blog it should post without any issues. But if this is the first time you have made a comment it will be moderated.

It would seem the spammers are on the war path tonight as my inbox is getting hammered with comments. A lot of comments have been flagged as possible spam and require moderation. But some of it is breaking through. Hopefully Akismet will learn the new rules soon and it will ease up. I don’t think this is a limitation of Akismet so much as the spam is becoming more sophisticated.

Foe example last week I had a spam comment slip through. The reason it got through was the fact that the comment was attached to the URL of an image that was associated with the post. So when I viewed the comment I got the blog entry with no text just the image with the spam. Nasty. I advised WordPress about it and they have responded saying that it is a new type of spam that they are aware of and to submit it to Akismet as such. Anyone else seen this type of comment spam?

I was hoping that I would not have to moderate comments as it takes time and is a bummer for legitimate commenter’s. But I have implemented this on the podcast blog and readers don’t seem to mind. I will endeavour to approve comments as soon as I can if it is any consolation. This measure might just decrease the attractiveness of this blog as a target.

To put the spam issue into perspective: it took from Feburary 2006 until the 9th of December to reach 10,000 spam comments caught by Akismet. Compare that with the fact that it just reach 20,369 today the 3rd of February 2007. Yes it doubled in about a month!

Comment Armageddon

So there I was catching up on some RSS feeds that I had missed over the Christmas New Year break. I made an unexpected find while I was doing that. Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch is a respected authority in Web 2.0 circles as far as covering new start-ups and the culture of the Internet and technology news. But this post caused some controversy.

TechCrunch covered a website that was a social network for budding photographers. So what you might say. Well this is a social network for amateur pornography. I have not linked to the site covered because that is not what this post is about. Arrington covers the site in a very matter-of-fact way that you would expect. It would seem that his readers don’t appreciate it, generally. True this is not the sort of thing that TechCrunch usually covers and that might be why there was the reaction that there was. Still not sure it was worthy of the reaction of some.

The real action here is the comments. There are no less than 191 comments at the time of this post. It is the most entertaining run of comments that I have read in a long time. Like fies to a dead cow everyone turns up for a go. It has everything from name calling to preaching doom and gloom. There are “hissy” fits and passionate pleas. Everything, you name it you will find it here.

What’s more the names read like a who’s who of the blogosphere. Featuring in order of appearance:

I am sure there are some I missed or did not recognise. These guys probably subscribe to TechCrunch so I am not surprised that they do. But for them to be motivated enough to comment, you can imagine. I learned some things about Robert Scoble that I did not know. He actually kicks butt in an argument. Still not sure why they got involved, no one wins a flame war.

Very entertaining and well worth the read. Not often I recommend to skip the article and go straight to the comments. I am not about to make judgements about the merits of Arringtons choice of topics but suffice to say his readers have spoken. But from my perspective it doesn’t seem like it fits the TechCrunch mould. It says a lot about knowing your audience.

Failure at Spamming Class?

Spam comments continue to be an annoyance and yet I am amused at the same time. This spammer (or bot reject) must have failed at spamming class:

Hello All!I am sorry, i am not a spammer.

Followed by about 100 porn links. Please. The links gave it away.

Rooster’s Rail Milestone

Well the Rooster’s Rail reached a statistical milestone today. Nope not the kind of statistic you might be expecting.

As of just this moment in time Akismet has successfully blocked 10,001 spam comments.

10001 Spam Canned

Now I have talked about blog spamming methods before but I have noticed a distinct increase. The other thing is that this blog in this space is nine month old. Is that a reasonable amount of spam one could expect in that time-frame? Sure this blog is listed everywhere and it gets exposure due to the podcast but I am sure there are more popular blogs that get more than this blog. What about Scoble? He must surely have a heap.

I am starting to see less and less genuine comment flagged as spam and I am considering not bothering to check it for genuine comments. Sometimes I forget to do it for three or four days and I have 500+ to go through. I really don’t have the time it takes to do that.

So WordPressors what do you think, am I a target, or is this about normal? What are your experiences with spam volume? Does Akismet do the job right for you? Do you check your spam or just can it?I bet this post gets spammed.

In the time that I have composed this post there are 7 more waiting…

What Bit-Rate Do You Use?

Since my original post about bit-rates and podcasting, I have thought a lot about what bit-rate I should encode the Global Geek Podcast. So after a lot of thinking we are going to give 64bps at a sample rate of 44100khz. This should give a fairly good balance between file size and quality.

In my original post I did a very, very small survey on the podcasts that were on my PC at the time and I thought why not do a full on survey and get a better picture of what everybody uses. So this post uses a service that is new to me but maybe not to you called, ZOHO Polls.

This is a great site where you can create a great looking poll, people can come and vote and they can leave comments. We are not allowed to post the poll on WordPress, but if anyone wants to post it on their’s visit the poll and click the add to Blog link on the top right and copy and paste the HTML. A lot of these things use Java Script and we can’t use that because there are security concerns and it is an easily exploited and used to inject a modified script that might be nasty.

So sound off podcasters, I want your vote! If the format you use for encoding is not here then please choose the closest and leave a comment. I can modify the poll so if I a getting a common theme for certain formats I will add it in.

Click Here to Vote!

You Can Also Subscribe to the RSS Feed for the Poll Here